ActiveX controls are small programs that work over the web with Internet Explorer. They bring enhanced functionality to web pages. ActiveX controls can be used for such tasks as displaying animation, viewing certain kinds of files and gathering information. Common uses of ActiveX controls include dialog boxes, list boxes and command buttons.
Some websites might require you to install an ActiveX control to see certain content or perform specific tasks. For example, Internet Explorer often requires an ActiveX control from Adobe to read PDFs or display Flash video. By itself, Internet Explorer is unable to play Flash files. So, it gives the user the option of downloading the Flash ActiveX Control. Then when a site that uses Flash is opened, the ActiveX control accesses the Flash functionality and displays the video right in Internet Explorer. You do not have to launch the Flash Player.
ActiveX controls are sometimes also called objects, modules or applets. ActiveX is commonly used on websites as it is supported by many different languages and tools. This means that web developers of a wide variety of experience levels and backgrounds can utilize ActiveX controls to create unique, interactive websites. As well, because there are so many re-usable tools available, developers do not have to start from scratch when building sites. ActiveX controls can be written in the following languages or environments: C++, Visual Basic, Borland Delphi and .Net Framework and more.
ActiveX controls are sometimes compared to Java applets. Both are designed by programmers for browsers to be able to download and execute. One of the biggest differences between the two is that ActiveX controls are for Internet Explorer and the Microsoft Windows operating system.
When the subject of ActiveX controls is discussed, the terms "signed" and "unsigned" often come up. A signed ActiveX control is digitally signed. This digital signature explains where the control came from and verifies that it has not been tampered with since its publication. Unsigned ActiveX controls can be safe, but might not be. Unsigned ActiveX controls might present a security risk.
Try our Wizard now to see if signed ActiveX controls will run on your computer.